President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson, has received US Senate approval to serve as Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America.
Brown Jackson would become the first Black woman to serve on the highest court in America. An American attorney and jurist, Ketanji Brown Jackson has served as a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since 2021
The tally was 53-47, as all 50 members of the Democratic caucus voted in favour, 3 Republicans voted in favour, while 47 Republicans voted against her nomination.
The CNN reports that Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska joining Democrats to vote in favour. Democrats broke out into loud applause and cheers when the vote was gavelled.
The vote also marks a major milestone for the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary, although Jackson’s confirmation won’t change the ideological balance of the court.
Vice President Kamala Harris presided over the chamber during the historic vote in her capacity as president of the Senate. Jackson will be sworn in after Justice Stephen Breyer retires sometime this summer. Senate Democrats and the White House have continually highlighted the historic nature of the nomination.
Ahead of the final vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the moment a “joyous, momentous, ground-breaking day. Schumer went on to say, “In the 233-year history of the Supreme Court, never, never has a Black woman held the title of Justice. Ketanji Brown Jackson will be the first and I believe the first of more to come.
“Biden had said during his 2020 presidential campaign that he was committed to nominating a Black woman to the Supreme Court if elected.
At one point during her Senate confirmation hearings, Jackson became visibly emotional and could be seen wiping away tears as Democratic Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, who is one of only three Black senators, talked about her path to the nomination and the obstacles she has had to overcome: ”My parents grew up in a time in this country in which Black children and White children were not allowed to go to school together.”
Jackson told Booker after the senator asked what values her parents had impressed upon her. “They taught me hard work. They taught me perseverance. They taught me that anything is possible in this great country.”
In announcing that they would support the nomination, GOP senators Murkowski and Collins both expressed concern over what they described as the politicisation of the Supreme Court confirmation process.
Murkowski said that she rejects “the corrosive politicisation of the review process for Supreme Court nominees, which, on both sides of the aisle, is growing worse and more detached from reality by the year.” in her statement.
Collins said in her statement, “No matter where you fall on the ideological spectrum, anyone who has watched several of the last Supreme Court confirmation hearings would reach the conclusion that the process is broken. It used to be common for Senators to give the President, regardless of political party, considerable deference in the choice of a nominee,” Collins said.
The Maine Republican said that approach “instilled confidence in the independence and the integrity of the judiciary and helped keep the Court above the political fray,” adding, “this is the approach that I plan to continue to use for Supreme Court nominations because it runs counter to the disturbing trend of politicizing the judicial nomination process.”